In Ellensburg, every first Friday of each month is the First Friday Art Walk. With 10 venues, this past Friday, Dec. 3, was the last First Friday for the 420 Loft Gallery. This gallery will be closing after the first of the new year, so it was our first stop of the night. The 420 Loft is currently featuring the reflective artwork of Donald O’Connor, who died in August. His work was paired with the cut-glass lamps of artist Julie Prather. It was fun to visit with owner Mollie Edson and listen to the sounds of the Pretty Fair Beer taproom downstairs.
Just a few paces away is the Clymer Museum & Gallery, where I visited with curator Matthew Lennon. Quite a few exhibits were installed, including “STRETCH: 14 Regional Artists,” which includes work created by John Ford Clymer. The Western Art Association has a wall dedicated to its artists, this month featuring work by Heather Cherry-Roberts. Across from Cherry-Roberts’ work on the facing wall were several contemporary artists, including Gordon Lambert.
Leaving Clymer, just a few more steps and you arrive at the Gallery One Visual Arts Center, where you can find several exhibits at once as you walk from floor to floor. During December, the gift shop expands into the main gallery with its annual gift show, where Gallery One invites you to browse through “a variety of unique finds, handmade goods, fair trade gifts, stocking stuffers and a hand-picked selection of Northwest art for everyone on your shopping list.”
Walking up the stairs to the mezzanine, there is a row of artistically decorated lamps in an exhibit titled “Lighten Up.” Each year, Gallery One gives community members a chance to show off their art and decorating skills with a fun project. This year they asked artists to create lamps that have “been embellished, altered or otherwise transformed into works of art.” Then, on the top floor of Gallery One, is the resident artists’ exhibit “Small Works.”
After a busy evening, we left to go to dinner and ran into Monica Miller, the director of Gallery One. It was fun to see her and compliment her on how busy all the galleries were that evening. There are still some shopping days left before Christmas, so enjoy some time in Ellensburg.
• David Lynx is executive director of the Larson Gallery at Yakima Valley College. He writes this weekly column for SCENE. Learn more at www.larsongallery.org.